Thomas Sankara’s Revolutionary Leadership

Meditations on an African Statesman

  • Moorosi Leshoele


The notion of a lack of ethical leadership, or what I would term a leadership curse in Africa has received much attention in the last few decades in post-colonial Africa. However, we seldom hear of great African thought leaders such as Thomas Isadore Sankara. This paper, therefore, seeks to critique and analyse what Ren` Otayek terms ‘the Sankara phenomenon’ that can help us better understand what virtues and traits are required for ethical leadership in Africa. Despite Sankara’s considerable achievements in Burkina Faso, his effective leadership style and skills remain under-acknowledged. In martyrdom, Sankara continues to be a source of inspiration, especially for African youth on the continent and abroad. Despite the affection and adoration for Sankara, he is one of the great African leaders who has not been sufficiently recognised, considering the impact he had on the lives of the ordinary working-class people of Burkina Faso.